The Fish
for 31 July 2000. Updated every WEEKDAY.
Suck Staff
[Tim Cavanaugh]
Tim Cavanaugh
Special Guest Editor
Terry Colon
Terry Colon
Art Director
Heather Havrilesky
Heather Havrilesky
Senior Editor
[Phillip Bailey]
Phillip Bailey
Production Editor
Joey Anuff
Joey Anuff

Suck Alumni
Suck Alumni Text
All the Summer's a Stage

You guys should read the NY Times
TV Guide. They often border on the
sublime. Their description for the
recent Guinness Book of WR prgram:
"Highest shallowdive."

Steven M. O'Neill

That's excellent! I can only
imagine finding yourself at the
Times, but having that be your job
there. One would have no choice but
to seek out the job's inherent

40th St. Black

Fish With Letter Icon

Another favorite:

Road to Morocco. Bing Crosby, Bob Hope

"Bing sells Bob into Slavery.
Dorothy Lamour romances an Arab

Well hot damn!

Charles Swift

I've think we've finally found a
Poet Laureate the American People
can get behind.

Makes me wonder what this person
would do with Lifeboat...

40th St. Black
Fish With Letter Icon

Dear Big 40:

Why, that was very sweet. How
un-Suck-like. Thanks. Meet me at
Joe Allen's and we can swap stories
about our acting careers, such as
they weren't.

Alan Kornheiser

Hi, Alan:

Thanks for reading, and thanks for
your note.

I'll definitely take you up on your
offer, but I have to warn you:
Discussing the various careers I
should have enjoyed is enough for a
week's worth of sit-downs, so I
hope you have the free time.


40th St. Black
Fish With Letter Icon

Yo Blackie,

Great article. You sound like
someone who's been there. But if
playwrights are formed through
"trial and error" you have to admit
that the sum total of the last two
decades of American playwriting has
been mostly a "trial of error." The
psychological inwardness of "the
Method"--which was always a more or
less wrongheaded approach to
acting, based on a gross
misinterpretation of
Stanislavski--has led playwrights
away from the universality of their
forebears into the dodgy realm of
psychological minutiae. The play as

The biggest problem with American
theatre is that the kind of lasting
work that was being put forth in
the first half of the 20th century,
by titans like Miller, Williams,
Saroyan, Kaufman, Odets and the
like, isn't being written today.
These days, I'm being asked to
accept folks like Paula Vogel as a
tip-top theatrical mind. We'll see
where she is in twenty years, but i
have my doubts. I suppose Tony
Kushner gets in the ballpark with
_Angels In America_, but even
Kushner has big flaws: he's
overlong, too in love with
ambiguity, and really needs to get
over the Reagan years. It's not
like you can't go to the theatre
and be entertained, it's just that
I don't think there is anyone
walking the earth today who could
write a _Miss Julie_.

It's not all bad. I just saw The
Shakespeare Theatre's (Washington,
DC) production of Williams' _Camino
Real_. 'Twas off the proverbial
hook, a far cry better than most of
what you see these days.

Jason Linkins

Hi, Jason:

I agree with your critical analysis
about the last 20 years of American
playwriting, particularly when you
compare the writers working now to
some of the Titans of the century's
first half. I also agree with what
I take to be your assertion that
one of the flaws of theater right
now is absorbed self-interest. It's
no surprise that Kushner's work
reminds its audience of past great
plays, because Angels in America
has that sort of willing engagement
of great, broad, relevant issues.

But I think of all the art forms
about which it can be argued
they've seen more rewarding
artistic periods, theater is
probably the best-suited to return
to them if and when those kind of
writers start doing that kind of
work. I also believe an artform can
benefit from the variety of voices
brought to prominence during slower
times. For instance, I think August
Wilson is an admirable playwright.
I don't believe him to be quite on
the level with some of the
playwrights you mention, but I very
much appreciate being able to see
his work in high-profile venues. I
very much like the Chicago-based
playwright Rebecca Gilman, and hope
that her blossoming career results
in long-term support for her work.

By the way, I think method acting
is misused as you say, but the big
problem is that method actors are
often very poorly directed.


40th St. Black
Fish With Letter Icon

When I first moved to New York
City, I worked for a theater
papering agency. We gave away free
("paper") tickets to Broadway,
Off-Broadway, and Off-Off-Broadway
shows and concerts for the theaters
so they could fill their houses
during slow periods. This practice
is helpful when trying to give good
word of mouth to a show, when a
reviewer will be present or during
the slowest time of the year,
summer. In my experience, fewer
tickets are sold for theater in New
York City in the summer than any
time of the year. Perhaps the two
shows of Shakespeare In the Park
and summer stock like New London
Barn (Connecticut), et al give the
impression of abundance, but it's
just not the case. Sure, theater is
happening (the hit or miss Fringe
Festival runs in August), but the
houses are a little empty.

Of course, I guess there are other
cities or metro areas in the
country, but being a New Yorker, I
tend not to think about those

"Jimmy has fancy plans and the
pants to match." -- from Macho
Business Donkey Wrestler, by Jimmy

Alexia Henke

You know, you're right. The houses
are definitely down in New York
during the summer season,
particularly for the summer holiday
weekends. (Why Patrick Stewart in
stage make-up isn't a proper Fourth
of July activity but Patrick
Stewart in a wheelchair is a
holiday-happy summer event is
probably too long a discussion for
here.) But I think the prevalence
of summer stock, park shows, new
plays festivals like the one
currently in Chicago, and even some
fringe festivals mark a kind of
wider theatrical involvement right
now that can't be ignored.


40th St. Black
Fish With Letter Icon


"The '90s on the American stage was
a decade of quasi-theatrical
performance, from circus sideshows
in alternative venues to
dance-infused showcases featuring
props like brooms, trashcan lids,
and the Irish."

genius. sheer freakin' genius. take
a bow!

as an entertainment editor and film
critic, i can only give you the
standing o on your piece on the
state of the modern theatre. like a
natural wonder, faithful housepet
or dick clark, theatre is something
that just becomes overlooked in its
timeless consistency, yet deserves
appreciation and note.

break a leg, but not one of yours!

Tim Nekritz

You know, one of the first plays I
ever saw featured the Music Man
falling into the orchestra pit and
injuring himself. You wouldn't
believe how confused and frightened
I was in the green room before my
five-year-old stage debut as "oven
door" and "bush" in Hansel and

40th St. Black
Fish With Letter Icon

INDY 2000

The Indy-CART thing has been going
on for some time. I don't really
know the specs of the cars, but
Indy is just standard NASCAR style
gor round in circles type stuff.
CART racing is huge in Europe - I'm
not certain, but I think that Mike
Schumaker makes more money than
Mike Jordan. Anyways, Nascar sucks,
I don't care what anyone says. Indy
is a little better I guess, and I'm
sure you had a good time there.
Where the hell is getting
money to send your ass all over the
place anyways? I know your Learjet
is reserved for your personal use.
I'm sorry to hear about Yeah!
getting cancelled. It was a great
book, but DC has plenty of "The
Invisibles" to push on everyone. I
got the last issue the same week
Ball Aerospace fired my ass. Oh


There was a lot of talk about
Formula 1 making its debut next
year at the Indy raceway, with a
slightly altered NOT
go-round-in-circles race course. As
if I care — unless the latter
means more crashes, in which case

As for's "deep pockets":
all I can say is you should have
seen the truckstop motel we stayed
at (the lady on page 4 who dropped
something on her ass was the
motel's manager).

Peter Bagge
Fish With Letter Icon

Hey Bagge!

I loved your piece on the Indy 500.
That was funny as hell and pretty
true to life too. Next time it
might be even funnier if you try
taking some minorities with you to
the 'races'. See what kind of
reaction you get then! Add some
color to the last bastion of
trailer park trash crackery in the
good ol USA!

k.Allen Flynn

The crowd at the Indy 500 wasn't as
nearly as Caucasian as I thought it
would be, and a lot of the drivers
themselves were Latin American
(including the winner). Still, I
did consider of asking one of the
few black fans at the 500 "what's
it like to be black and at the
500?", but that may well have been
the only racist comment that person
might have heard all day, so I kept
my mouth shut. Plus, unlike your
typical small town demolition
derby, The Indy 500 isn't very
redneck at all for the most part.
It was rather yuppyish, in fact.

Peter Bagge
Fish With Letter Icon

oh sucksters...

what the heck is going on. one
day's suck just brought up the
previous weeks (i believe you sent
[me at least] the 11th's column out
on the 18th--and never corrected

then, yesterday some recycle from
memorial day and the INDY 500?!?!
without labeling or warning. and it
was a really lame piece anyway (i
mean why lose sight of your irony
for the indianapolis 500,
ferchrisakes) whats up with that?

or maybe your just not aware that
your delivery system also sucks of

hoping you care,

Jon Dohlin

Well, John, for the knee jerk irony
you seem to prefer, I'd suggest
David Letterman, who is still into
that late-'90s (actually mid-'80s)
irony for irony's sake stuff.
Sorry, but the minute Pete and I
set foot in Indianapolis we
realized the city was irony-proof
and hardcore Face Value on
everything it served up, like the
locals who stood for every flag in
the Memorial Day parade (including
one made up of a giant red, white,
and blue parachute carried as a
giant skirt by over fifty red,
white, and blue clad girls) and who
then didn't bat an eye when a the
Red Baronę frozen pizza-sponsored
float rolled past a War Memorial
that included names of those killed
in World War I by the Baron and his
friends, presumably before German
war criminals started making such
great iced pizzas. Letterman was
surely the only ironic man to ever
leave Indy, and most likely because
they didn't get his sense of humor
any more than I do.

And yes, Jon, "we care."

Bertolt Bleckett, author of
"Waiting for My Dough"

Fish With Letter Icon

Where do you come up with this
stuff?! No, literally...I wanna
visit your office. I just happened
upon this website yesterday and
already I'm submersed in a world of
disillusioned cynicism,
crack-rabbits, and talking/floating
fish. Finally, a place on the
internet that reflects my interests
and beliefs! Anyhoo, love the
archives...I see I have a lot of
catching up to do. I'm doing my
part to spread the love here in
Atlanta and back at school in
Athens - I'm gonna earn a damn
t-shirt sometime, I know it! Until
then, rest assured that you'll hear
more from your earnest new
supporter at the University of
Georgia. And finally, as a complete
non-sequitor, I must fulfill my
duty as a college student and say
Zeppelin and Boston rule!
Whooooo!!! Rock on!!!


Loren Kippels--on the job as
Fitzgerald+Co's faithful account
services (advertising) intern.
Don't worry, you'll get my resume
soon enough...

"Toodles?!?" You're our kind of
reader Loren, and we're sorry
you're no longer in the Escondido
area, but spread Suck love where
ever you go.

Bertolt Blechter

Fish With Letter Icon

Damn, you got it all so... right.
The thing about the Indy race
explains it all, and the Pee Boy
drawings are just icing on the

I grew up in Cedar Rapids, Iowa
where dirt track racing was
practically a religion. Dear old
dad schlepped us off to the track
every freaking chance he got. Oh,
how can I forget the filth. They
don' t call it dirt track fer
nothing. It's either choking dust
or sloppy mud flung everywhere.

Then who could forget the butt ugly
cars, American sedans of every
stripe: chevelles and cutlasses and
fairlanes. Hulking refugees from
the junk yard all, one step from
scrapper. Then there was the
endless inane debate over Ford v.
Chevy (they both suck, by the way)
. But most memorable of all, the
godawful NOISE. My little sister
would hide under the grandstands
with her hands over her ears,
crying her little eyes out.

Good point about the death thing .
People certainly are drawn to the
possibility of accidental death or
dismemberment.Then again, there
were the wrecks that weren't
accidents. The hick drivers would
often run into each other on
purpose. And the audience sometimes
gets in on the fun. I once saw a
tire fly into the stands that
killed a spectator.

Finally, let us not forget the
drinking and brawling among the
audience. Then, the drinking and
brawling among the drivers (usually
after the race). All and all a real
family night out. Is this a great
country, or what?


Mike "the all-American boy"

Wow, a guy with no love for racing
and not a care in the world when we
ran it! You blow the curve on our
demographics, but welcome to Suck,
Mike! Yeah, the Indy 500 brought
back blue collar nostalgia for both
Pete and myself (which is why we
initially loved Indianapolis) but
we too found ourselves, as the
speculative fiction crowd might put
it, strangers in a strange land.
However, Indy fans at the track
were not the drinkin' and brawlin'
types you mention. That annual
party is held at the corner of
Georgetown and 16th just outside
the track, where trailer park
citizens line the streets with
flatbed trucks, pitch tents,
Budweiserę halter tops, and mullet
haircuts aplenty to watch the
slickers come in from all over
(kind of like the Indianians
Spielberg had waiting on the road
side for his aliens in "Close
Encounters"). Sitting in lawn
chairs with their bare feet up on
coolers, we're the parade for them:
a bunch of trendy, booboisie middle
class race fans with our SUVs,
camcorders, fannypacks, and tivas,
making the trek to Dogpatch for the
annual Roarathon 500.

"Pee Boy"? Does Pete know you call
him that?

Bertolt Blecht and Blue

Do people still debate the merits
of Ford vs. Chevy? I thought that
argument had been settled (they
both suck) years ago! Now it's
Honda vs. Subaru, and I'm a Subaru
man all the way. Don't mess with us
Legacy owners!

Peter B

Fish With Letter Icon

 The Shit
Krushchev Remembers, by Nikita Krushchev (authorship disputed), translated by Strobe Talbott
Five-Star Day Cafe
Athens, Ga.
Salon's "Action Figures"
TV ad
Donna's Famous "Long and Short of It," by Donna Anderson and friends
Two-Lane Blacktop, directed by Monte Hellman (The Anchor Bay/Universal letterboxed edition)
George Bush, Dark Prince of Love: A Presidential Romance, by Lydia Millet (Scribner)
King Kong: The Complete 1933 Film Score, by Max Steiner Moscow Symphony Orchestra, William J. Stromberg conductor (Marco Polo)
Eightball #20, by Dan Clowes (Fantagraphics Books)
The ECW's Little Spike Dudley
Stan Kenton, City of Glass, featuring arrangements by legendary weirdo Bob Graettinger (EMD/Blue Note)
Comix 2000, Edited and published by L'Association, 2000
Star Dudes
Do you know of stuff that doesn't actively suck? Things so good they deserve to make the Shitlist? Send your suggestions to us.

Little link to Suck
Arrow Image
Contacting Us
Contributors Index
Little Barrel Link
Little Gun Link
A machine producing Suck
Link To Tech Notes